Trump thinks the “rhythm method” is a good replacement for birth control
If you were raised in a religion that doesn’t allow actual birth control, chances are you or your parents have a f*ck ton of siblings.
That’s because in a lot of religions, condoms are considered no bueno and you’re supposed to rely on “the rhythm method,” or fertility awareness, to avoid pregnancy. This consists of avoiding sex on the days you’re most likely to get pregnant based on your menstrual cycle.
It’s a pretty flawed system, which is why religious organizations like the Catholic church are such big fans of it — it results in way more Catholics being created, after all.
And it looks like the Trump administration also would like us all to pretend the rhythm method is a totally solid form of birth control.
Basically, the White House wants to not only cut federal funding to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s family planning budget, but also require the agency to provide equal funding for fertility awareness, according to Newsweek. This is all based on a leaked memo provided to Crooked Media.
The memo also says the rhythm method “should be the sole birth control method made available to young girls,” according to Newsweek. This is obviously a horrible idea because young girls have enough to worry about when it comes to their periods. Not to mention, abstaining from sex when you’re DTF is hard enough without raging adolescent hormones added to the equation. Teens + the rhythm method = definite disaster.
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The rhythm method is only 80 to 87 percent effective, according to Everyday Health. Figuring out your ovulation schedule requires monitoring your temperature and your cervical mucus in addition to tracking your period on the calendar. Most people without a medical degree probably aren’t going to nail it.
“Most women cannot peg ovulation precisely enough to know when the safe times to have sex are,” Jennifer A. Shuford, MD, MPH, director of applied science at the Medical Institute for Sexual Health in Austin, Texas, told Everyday Health. “It can be an effective form of birth control, it’s just that you have to leave a lot of buffer within your month to avoid getting pregnant.”
Translation: even if you can figure out exactly when you’re ovulating, you also have to abstain from sex. A lot. Ummm, no thanks.
Seriously, if the Trump administration wants to cut down on unwanted pregnancies, it would be better off promoting the pull-out method than fertility awareness. While pulling out is not the smartest form of birth control to rely on, it’s almost as effective as a condom, after all.
But the Trump administration doesn’t actually care about cutting down on unwanted pregnancies. It cares about appealing to a woman-hating base of voters who want to control our bodies. And telling women to rely on the rhythm method is basically the same things as telling us we shouldn’t use any birth control at all.